Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Stamps

When I was young I was a collector of things. I collected Baseball Cards (Tops), Indian Head Pennies, Comic Books and US Postage Stamps.

The crown jewel of my stamp collection was a mint 2 cent Yorktown Commemorative (issued in 1931) and was purchased at Marshall Fields in downtown Chicago. Being stupid at the time, I put a hinge on the back of the stamp.

I read today that the USPS is attempting to raise the cost of a first class stamp to 42 cents. The Postmaster General cites the rising cost of gasoline (“each penny increase in the price of a gallon of gasoline costs the post office $8 million”) as well as the fact that many people are using email rather than snail mail. However advertising mail is compensating for this loss of revenues.

The USPS also wants to create a “Forever Stamp”.

“A key part of the plan is the forever stamp, which would allow consumers to hedge against future rate increases.” I read this as the USPS is hoping for a stamp buying frenzy every time that they announce postal rate increase.

With the issue of this stamp, I can foresee annual postage increases. Why? To sell more stamps in advance and to make people think that they are getting a good deal in the process. Someone within the postal bureaucracy is finally using their head for “something more than a hat rack”. It’s probably the same person from the US Mint who came up with new Presidential dollar coins.

I have a large amount of un-used stamps that I keep in a little box on top of my dresser. I am no longer a collector of stamps. They are there because I didn’t purchase the 2 and 3 cents stamps after past postal rate increases.

I no longer use many stamps, probably less than 30 stamps per year. I pay my bills online and communicate with my friends via email. The Stamps that I buy are always commemoratives, especially the “Legends of Hollywood” series or any stamp that honors the US military. This way I can feel that I am making a statement to the people who are receiving my mailings.

The Beach Bum

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